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NARRATIVE OF A. GORDON PYM - CHAPTER 2

by Edgar Allan Poe

IN no affairs of mere prejudice, pro or con, do we deduce

inferences with entire certainty, even from the most simple data. It
might be supposed that a catastrophe such as I have just related
would have effectually cooled my incipient passion for the sea. On
the contrary, I never experienced a more ardent longing for the wild
adventures incident to the life of a navigator than within a week
after our miraculous deliverance. This short period proved amply long
enough to erase from my memory the shadows, and bring out in vivid
light all the pleasurably exciting points of color, all the
picturesqueness, of the late perilous accident. My conversations with
Augustus grew daily more frequent and more intensely full of
interest. He had a manner of relating his stories of the ocean (more
than one half of which I now suspect to have been sheer fabrications)
well adapted to have weight with one of my enthusiastic temperament
and somewhat gloomy although glowing imagination. It is strange, too,
that he most strongly enlisted my feelings in behalf of the life of a
seaman, when he depicted his more terrible moments of suffering and
despair. For the bright side of the painting I had a limited
sympathy. My visions were of shipwreck and famine; of death or
captivity among barbarian hordes; of a lifetime dragged out in sorrow
and tears, upon some gray and desolate rock, in an ocean
unapproachable and unknown. Such visions or desires- for they
amounted to desires- are common, I have since been assured, to the
whole numerous race of the melancholy among men- at the time of which
I speak I regarded them only as prophetic glimpses of a destiny which
I felt myself in a measure bound to fulfil. Augustus thoroughly
entered into my state of mind. It is probable, indeed, that our
intimate communion had resulted in a partial interchange of
character.

About eighteen months after the period of the Ariel's disaster,

the firm of Lloyd and Vredenburgh (a house connected in some manner
with the Messieurs Enderby, I believe, of Liverpool) were engaged in
repairing and fitting out the brig Grampus for a whaling voyage. She
was an old hulk, and scarcely seaworthy when all was done to her that
could be done. I hardly know why she was chosen in preference to
other good vessels belonging to the same owners -- but so it was. Mr.
Barnard was appointed to command her, and Augustus was going with
him. While the brig was getting ready, he frequently urged upon me
the excellency of the opportunity now offered for indulging my desire
of travel. He found me by no means an unwilling listener -- yet the
matter could not be so easily arranged. My father made no direct
opposition; but my mother went into hysterics at the bare mention of
the design; and, more than all, my grandfather, from whom I expected
much, vowed to cut me off with a shilling if I should ever broach the
subject to him again. These difficulties, however, so far from
abating my desire, only added fuel to the flame. I determined to go
at all hazards; and, having made known my intentions to Augustus, we
set about arranging a plan by which it might be accomplished. In the
meantime I forbore speaking to any of my relations in regard to the
voyage, and, as I busied myself ostensibly with my usual studies, it
was supposed that I had abandoned the design. I have since frequently
examined my conduct on this occasion with sentiments of displeasure
as well as of surprise. The intense hypocrisy I made use of for the
furtherance of my project- an hypocrisy pervading every word and
action of my life for so long a period of time- could only have been
rendered tolerable to myself by the wild and burning expectation with
which I looked forward to the fulfilment of my long-cherished visions
of travel.

In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was necessarily obliged

to leave much to the management of Augustus, who was employed for the
greater part of every day on board the Grampus, attending to some
arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold. At night,
however, we were sure to have a conference and talk over our hopes.
After nearly a month passed in this manner, without our hitting upon
any plan we thought likely to succeed, he told me at last that he had
determined upon everything necessary. I had a relation living in New
Bedford, a Mr. Ross, at whose house I was in the habit of spending
occasionally two or three weeks at a time. The brig was to sail about
the middle of June (June, 1827), and it was agreed that, a day or two
before her putting to sea, my father was to receive a note, as usual,
from Mr. Ross, asking me to come over and spend a fortnight with
Robert and Emmet (his sons). Augustus charged himself with the
inditing of this note and getting it delivered. Having set out as
supposed, for New Bedford, I was then to report myself to my
companion, who would contrive a hiding-place for me in the Grampus.
This hiding-place, he assured me, would be rendered sufficiently
comfortable for a residence of many days, during which I was not to
make my appearance. When the brig had proceeded so far on her course
as to make any turning back a matter out of question, I should then,
he said, be formally installed in all the comforts of the cabin; and
as to his father, he would only laugh heartily at the joke. Vessels
enough would be met with by which a letter might be sent home
explaining the adventure to my parents.

The middle of June at length arrived, and every thing had been

matured. The note was written and delivered, and on a Monday morning
I left the house for the New Bedford packet, as supposed. I went,
however, straight to Augustus, who was waiting for me at the corner
of a street. It had been our original plan that I should keep out of
the way until dark, and then slip on board the brig; but, as there
was now a thick fog in our favor, it was agreed to lose no time in
secreting me. Augustus led the way to the wharf, and I followed at a
little distance, enveloped in a thick seaman's cloak, which he had
brought with him, so that my person might not be easily recognized.
just as we turned the second corner, after passing Mr. Edmund's well,
who should appear, standing right in front of me, and looking me full
in the face, but old Mr. Peterson, my grandfather. "Why, bless my
soul, Gordon," said he, after a long pause, "why, why,- whose dirty
cloak is that you have on?" "Sir!" I replied, assuming, as well as I
could, in the exigency of the moment, an air of offended surprise,
and talking in the gruffest of all imaginable tones- "sir! you are a
sum'mat mistaken- my name, in the first place, bee'nt nothing at all
like Goddin, and I'd want you for to know better, you blackguard,
than to call my new obercoat a darty one." For my life I could hardly
refrain from screaming with laughter at the odd manner in which the
old gentleman received this handsome rebuke. He started back two or
three steps, turned first pale and then excessively red, threw up his
spectacles, then, putting them down, ran full tilt at me, with his
umbrella uplifted. He stopped short, however, in his career, as if
struck with a sudden recollection; and presently, turning round,
hobbled off down the street, shaking all the while with rage, and
muttering between his teeth: "Won't do -- new glasses -- thought it
was Gordon --d--d good-for-nothing salt water Long Tom."

After this narrow escape we proceeded with greater caution, and
arrived at our point of destination in safety. There were only one or
two of the hands on board, and these were busy forward, doing
something to the forecastle combings. Captain Barnard, we knew very
well, was engaged at Lloyd and Vredenburgh's, and would remain there
until late in the evening, so we had little to apprehend on his
account. Augustus went first up the vessel's side, and in a short
while I followed him, without being noticed by the men at work. We
proceeded at once into the cabin, and found no person there. It was
fitted up in the most comfortable style- a thing somewhat unusual in
a whaling-vessel. There were four very excellent staterooms, with
wide and convenient berths. There was also a large stove, I took
notice, and a remarkably thick and valuable carpet covering the floor
of both the cabin and staterooms. The ceiling was full seven feet
high, and, in short, every thing appeared of a more roomy and
agreeable nature than I had anticipated. Augustus, however, would
allow me but little time for observation, insisting upon the
necessity of my concealing myself as soon as possible. He led the way
into his own stateroom, which was on the starboard side of the brig,
and next to the bulkheads. Upon entering, he closed the door and
bolted it. I thought I had never seen a nicer little room than the
one in which I now found myself. It was about ten feet long, and had
only one berth, which, as I said before, was wide and convenient. In
that portion of the closet nearest the bulkheads there was a space of
four feet square, containing a table, a chair, and a set of hanging
shelves full of books, chiefly books of voyages and travels. There
were many other little comforts in the room, among which I ought not
to forget a kind of safe or refrigerator, in which Augustus pointed
out to me a host of delicacies, both in the eating and drinking
department.

He now pressed with his knuckles upon a certain spot of the

carpet in one corner of the space just mentioned, letting me know
that a portion of the flooring, about sixteen inches square, had been
neatly cut out and again adjusted. As he pressed, this portion rose
up at one end sufficiently to allow the passage of his finger
beneath. In this manner he raised the mouth of the trap (to which the
carpet was still fastened by tacks), and I found that it led into the
after hold. He next lit a small taper by means of a phosphorous
match, and, placing the light in a dark lantern, descended with it
through the opening, bidding me follow. I did so, and he then pulled
the cover upon the hole, by means of a nail driven into the under
side--the carpet, of course, resuming its original position on the
floor of the stateroom, and all traces of the aperture being
concealed.

The taper gave out so feeble a ray that it was with the greatest

difficulty I could grope my way through the confused mass of lumber
among which I now found myself. By degrees, however, my eyes became
accustomed to the gloom, and I proceeded with less trouble, holding
on to the skirts of my friend's coat. He brought me, at length, after
creeping and winding through innumerable narrow passages, to an
iron-bound box, such as is used sometimes for packing fine
earthenware. It was nearly four feet high, and full six long, but
very narrow. Two large empty oil-casks lay on the top of it, and
above these, again, a vast quantity of straw matting, piled up as
high as the floor of the cabin. In every other direction around was
wedged as closely as possible, even up to the ceiling, a complete
chaos of almost every species of ship-furniture, together with a
heterogeneous medley of crates, hampers, barrels, and bales, so that
it seemed a matter no less than miraculous that we had discovered any
passage at all to the box. I afterward found that Augustus had
purposely arranged the stowage in this hold with a view to affording
me a thorough concealment, having had only one assistant in the
labour, a man not going out in the brig.

My companion now showed me that one of the ends of the box could

be removed at pleasure. He slipped it aside and displayed the
interior, at which I was excessively amused. A mattress from one of
the cabin berths covered the whole of its bottom, and it contained
almost every article of mere comfort which could be crowded into so
small a space, allowing me, at the same time, sufficient room for my
accommodation, either in a sitting position or lying at full length.
Among other things, there were some books, pen, ink, and paper, three
blankets, a large jug full of water, a keg of sea-biscuit, three or
four immense Bologna sausages, an enormous ham, a cold leg of roast
mutton, and half a dozen bottles of cordials and liqueurs. I
proceeded immediately to take possession of my little apartment, and
this with feelings of higher satisfaction, I am sure, than any
monarch ever experienced upon entering a new palace. Augustus now
pointed out to me the method of fastening the open end of the box,
and then, holding the taper close to the deck, showed me a piece of
dark whipcord lying along it. This, he said, extended from my
hiding-place throughout an the necessary windings among the lumber,
to a nail which was driven into the deck of the hold, immediately
beneath the trap-door leading into his stateroom. By means of this
cord I should be enabled readily to trace my way out without his
guidance, provided any unlooked-for accident should render such a
step necessary. He now took his departure, leaving with me the
lantern, together with a copious supply of tapers and phosphorous,
and promising to pay me a visit as often as he could contrive to do
so without observation. This was on the seventeenth of June.

I remained three days and nights (as nearly as I could guess) in

my hiding-place without getting out of it at all, except twice for
the purpose of stretching my limbs by standing erect between two
crates just opposite the opening. During the whole period I saw
nothing of Augustus; but this occasioned me little uneasiness, as I
knew the brig was expected to put to sea every hour, and in the
bustle he would not easily find opportunities of coming down to me.
At length I heard the trap open and shut, and presently he called in
a low voice, asking if all was well, and if there was any thing I
wanted. "Nothing," I replied; "I am as comfortable as can be; when
will the brig sail?" "She will be under weigh in less than half an
hour," he answered. "I came to let you know, and for fear you should
be uneasy at my absence. I shall not have a chance of coming down
again for some time- perhaps for three or four days more. All is
going on right aboveboard. After I go up and close the trap, do you
creep along by the whipcord to where the nail is driven in. You will
find my watch there -- it may be useful to you, as you have no
daylight to keep time by. I suppose you can't tell how long you have
been buried- only three days- this is the twentieth. I would bring
the watch to your box, but am afraid of being missed." With this he
went up.

In about an hour after he had gone I distinctly felt the brig in

motion, and congratulated myself upon having at length fairly
commenced a voyage. Satisfied with this idea, I determined to make my
mind as easy as possible, and await the course of events until I
should be permitted to exchange the box for the more roomy, although
hardly more comfortable, accommodations of the cabin. My first care
was to get the watch. Leaving the taper burning, I groped along in
the dark, following the cord through windings innumerable, in some of
which I discovered that, after toiling a long distance, I was brought
back within a foot or two of a former position. At length I reached
the nail, and securing the object of my journey, returned with it in
safety. I now looked over the books which had been so thoughtfully
provided, and selected the expedition of Lewis and Clarke to the
mouth of the Columbia. With this I amused myself for some time, when,
growing sleepy, I extinguished the light with great care, and soon
fell into a sound slumber.

Upon awakening I felt strangely confused in mind, and some time

elapsed before I could bring to recollection all the various
circumstances of my situation. By degrees, however, I remembered all.
Striking a light, I looked at the watch; but it was run down, and
there were, consequently, no means of determining how long I slept.
My limbs were greatly cramped, and I was forced to relieve them by
standing between the crates. Presently feeling an almost ravenous
appetite, I bethought myself of the cold mutton, some of which I had
eaten just before going to sleep, and found excellent. What was my
astonishment in discovering it to be in a state of absolute
putrefaction! This circumstance occasioned me great disquietude; for,
connecting it with the disorder of mind I experienced upon awakening,
I began to suppose that I must have slept for an inordinately long
period of time. The close atmosphere of the hold might have had
something to do with this, and might, in the end, be productive of
the most serious results. My head ached excessively; I fancied that I
drew every breath with difficulty; and, in short, I was oppressed
with a multitude of gloomy feelings. Still I could not venture to
make any disturbance by opening the trap or otherwise, and, having
wound up the watch, contented myself as well as possible.

Throughout the whole of the next tedious twenty-four hours no

person came to my relief, and I could not help accusing Augustus of
the grossest inattention. What alarmed me chiefly was, that the water
in my jug was reduced to about half a pint, and I was suffering much
from thirst, having eaten freely of the Bologna sausages after the
loss of my mutton. I became very uneasy, and could no longer take any
interest in my books. I was overpowered, too, with a desire to sleep,
yet trembled at the thought of indulging it, lest there might exist
some pernicious influence, like that of burning charcoal, in the
confined air of the hold. In the meantime the roll of the brig told
me that we were far in the main ocean, and a dull humming sound,
which reached my ears as if from an immense distance, convinced me no
ordinary gale was blowing. I could not imagine a reason for the
absence of Augustus. We were surely far enough advanced on our voyage
to allow of my going up. Some accident might have happened to him-
but I could think of none which would account for his suffering me to
remain so long a prisoner, except, indeed, his having suddenly died
or fallen overboard, and upon this idea I could not dwell with any
degree of patience. It was possible that we had been baffled by head
winds, and were still in the near vicinity of Nantucket. This notion,
however, I was forced to abandon; for such being the case, the brig
must have frequently gone about; and I was entirely satisfied, from
her continual inclination to the larboard, that she had been sailing
all along with a steady breeze on her starboard quarter. Besides,
granting that we were still in the neighborhood of the island, why
should not Augustus have visited me and informed me of the
circumstance? Pondering in this manner upon the difficulties of my
solitary and cheerless condition, I resolved to wait yet another
twenty-four hours, when, if no relief were obtained, I would make my
way to the trap, and endeavour either to hold a parley with my
friend, or get at least a little fresh air through the opening, and a
further supply of water from the stateroom. While occupied with this
thought, however, I fell in spite of every exertion to the contrary,
into a state of profound sleep, or rather stupor. My dreams were of
the most terrific description. Every species of calamity and horror
befell me. Among other miseries I was smothered to death between huge
pillows, by demons of the most ghastly and ferocious aspect. Immense
serpents held me in their embrace, and looked earnestly in my face
with their fearfully shining eyes. Then deserts, limitless, and of
the most forlorn and awe-inspiring character, spread themselves out
before me. Immensely tall trunks of trees, gray and leafless, rose up
in endless succession as far as the eye could reach. Their roots were
concealed in wide-spreading morasses, whose dreary water lay
intensely black, still, and altogether terrible, beneath. And the
strange trees seemed endowed with a human vitality, and waving to and
fro their skeleton arms, were crying to the silent waters for mercy,
in the shrill and piercing accents of the most acute agony and
despair. The scene changed; and I stood, naked and alone, amidst the
burning sand-plains of Sahara. At my feet lay crouched a fierce lion
of the tropics. Suddenly his wild eyes opened and fell upon me. With
a conculsive bound he sprang to his feet, and laid bare his horrible
teeth. In another instant there burst from his red throat a roar like
the thunder of the firmament, and I fell impetuously to the earth.
Stifling in a paroxysm of terror, I at last found myself partially
awake. My dream, then, was not all a dream. Now, at least, I was in
possession of my senses. The paws of some huge and real monster were
pressing heavily upon my bosom -- his hot breath was in my ear- and
his white and ghastly fangs were gleaming upon me through the gloom.

Had a thousand lives hung upon the movement of a limb or the

utterance of a syllable, I could have neither stirred nor spoken. The
beast, whatever it was, retained his position without attempting any
immediate violence, while I lay in an utterly helpless, and, I
fancied, a dying condition beneath him. I felt that my powers of body
and mind were fast leaving me- in a word, that I was perishing, and
perishing of sheer fright. My brain swam -- I grew deadly sick -- my
vision failed -- even the glaring eyeballs above me grew dim. Making
a last strong effort, I at length breathed a faint ejaculation to
God, and resigned myself to die. The sound of my voice seemed to
arouse all the latent fury of the animal. He precipitated himself at
full length upon my body; but what was my astonishment, when, with a
long and low whine, he commenced licking my face and hands with the
greatest eagerness, and with the most extravagant demonstration of
affection and joy! I was bewildered, utterly lost in amazement- but I
could not forget the peculiar whine of my Newfoundland dog Tiger, and
the odd manner of his caresses I well knew. It was he. I experienced
a sudden rush of blood to my temples- a giddy and overpowering sense
of deliverance and reanimation. I rose hurriedly from the mattress
upon which I had been lying, and, throwing myself upon the neck of my
faithful follower and friend, relieved the long oppression of my
bosom in a flood of the most passionate tears.

As upon a former occasion my conceptions were in a state of the

greatest indistinctness and confusion after leaving the mattress. For
a long time I found it nearly impossible to connect any ideas; but,
by very slow degrees, my thinking faculties returned, and I again
called to memory the several incidents of my condition. For the
presence of Tiger I tried in vain to account; and after busying
myself with a thousand different conjectures respecting him, was
forced to content myself with rejoicing that he was with me to share
my dreary solitude, and render me comfort by his caresses. Most
people love their dogs -- but for Tiger I had an affection far more
ardent than common; and never, certainly, did any creature more truly
deserve it. For seven years he had been my inseparable companion, and
in a multitude of instances had given evidence of all the noble
qualities for which we value the animal. I had rescued him, when a
puppy, from the clutches of a malignant little villain in Nantucket
who was leading him, with a rope around his neck, to the water; and
the grown dog repaid the obligation, about three years afterward, by
saving me from the bludgeon of a street robber.

Getting now hold of the watch, I found, upon applying it to my

ear, that it had again run down; but at this I was not at all
surprised, being convinced, from the peculiar state of my feelings,
that I had slept, as before, for a very long period of time, how
long, it was of course impossible to say. I was burning up with
fever, and my thirst was almost intolerable. I felt about the box for
my little remaining supply of water, for I had no light, the taper
having burnt to the socket of the lantern, and the phosphorus-box not
coming readily to hand. Upon finding the jug, however, I discovered
it to be empty -- Tiger, no doubt, having been tempted to drink it,
as well as to devour the remnant of mutton, the bone of which lay,
well picked, by the opening of the box. The spoiled meat I could well
spare, but my heart sank as I thought of the water. I was feeble in
the extreme -- so much so that I shook all over, as with an ague, at
the slightest movement or exertion. To add to my troubles, the brig
was pitching and rolling with great violence, and the oil-casks which
lay upon my box were in momentary danger of falling down, so as to
block up the only way of ingress or egress. I felt, also, terrible
sufferings from sea-sickness. These considerations determined me to
make my way, at all hazards, to the trap, and obtain immediate
relief, before I should be incapacitated from doing so altogether.
Having come to this resolve, I again felt about for the
phosphorus-box and tapers. The former I found after some little
trouble; but, not discovering the tapers as soon as I had expected
(for I remembered very nearly the spot in which I had placed them), I
gave up the search for the present, and bidding Tiger lie quiet,
began at once my journey toward the trap.

In this attempt my great feebleness became more than ever

apparent. It was with the utmost difficulty I could crawl along at
all, and very frequently my limbs sank suddenly from beneath me;
when, falling prostrate on my face, I would remain for some minutes
in a state bordering on insensibility. Still I struggled forward by
slow degrees, dreading every moment that I should swoon amid the
narrow and intricate windings of the lumber, in which event I had
nothing but death to expect as the result. At length, upon making a
push forward with all the energy I could command, I struck my
forehead violently against the sharp corner of an iron-bound crate.
The accident only stunned me for a few moments; but I found, to my
inexpressible grief, that the quick and violent roll of the vessel
had thrown the crate entirely across my path, so as effectually to
block up the passage. With my utmost exertions I could not move it a
single inch from its position, it being closely wedged in among the
surrounding boxes and ship-furniture. It became necessary, therefore,
enfeebled as I was, either to leave the guidance of the whipcord and
seek out a new passage, or to climb over the obstacle, and resume the
path on the other side. The former alternative presented too many
difficulties and dangers to be thought of without a shudder. In my
present weak state of both mind and body, I should infallibly lose my
way if I attempted it, and perish miserably amid the dismal and
disgusting labyrinths of the hold. I proceeded, therefore, without
hesitation, to summon up all my remaining strength and fortitude, and
endeavour, as I best might, to clamber over the crate.

Upon standing erect, with this end in view, I found the

undertaking even a more serious task than my fears had led me to
imagine. On each side of the narrow passage arose a complete wall of
various heavy lumber, which the least blunder on my part might be the
means of bringing down upon my head; or, if this accident did not
occur, the path might be effectually blocked up against my return by
the descending mass, as it was in front by the obstacle there. The
crate itself was a long and unwieldy box, upon which no foothold
could be obtained. In vain I attempted, by every means in my power,
to reach the top, with the hope of being thus enabled to draw myself
up. Had I succeeded in reaching it, it is certain that my strength
would have proved utterly inadequate to the task of getting over, and
it was better in every respect that I failed. At length, in a
desperate effort to force the crate from its ground, I felt a strong
vibration in the side next me. I thrust my hand eagerly to the edge
of the planks, and found that a very large one was loose. With my
pocket-knife, which, luckily, I had with me, I succeeded, after great
labour, in prying it entirely off; and getting it through the
aperture, discovered, to my exceeding joy, that there were no boards
on the opposite side -- in other words, that the top was wanting, it
being the bottom through which I had forced my way. I now met with no
important difficulty in proceeding along the line until I finally
reached the nail. With a beating heart I stood erect, and with a
gentle touch pressed against the cover of the trap. It did not rise
as soon as I had expected, and I pressed it with somewhat more
determination, still dreading lest some other person than Augustus
might be in his state-room. The door, however, to my astonishment,
remained steady, and I became somewhat uneasy, for I knew that it had
formerly required but little or no effort to remove it. I pushed it
strongly -- it was nevertheless firm: with all my strength -- it
still did not give way: with rage, with fury, with despair -- it set
at defiance my utmost efforts; and it was evident, from the
unyielding nature of the resistance, that the hole had either been
discovered and effectually nailed up, or that some immense weight had
been placed upon it, which it was useless to think of removing.

My sensations were those of extreme horror and dismay. In vain I

attempted to reason on the probable cause of my being thus entombed.
I could summon up no connected chain of reflection, and, sinking on
the floor, gave way, unresistingly, to the most gloomy imaginings, in
which the dreadful deaths of thirst, famine, suffocation, and
premature interment crowded upon me as the prominent disasters to be
encountered. At length there returned to me some portion of presence
of mind. I arose, and felt with my fingers for the seams or cracks of
the aperture. Having found them, I examined them closely to ascertain
if they emitted any light from the state-room; but none was visible.
I then forced the blade of my pen-knife through them, until I met
with some hard obstacle. Scraping against it, I discovered it to be a
solid mass of iron, which, from its peculiar wavy feel as I passed
the blade along it, I concluded to be a chain-cable. The only course
now left me was to retrace my way to the box, and there either yield
to my sad fate, or try so to tranquilize my mind as to admit of my
arranging some plan of escape. I immediately set about the attempt,
and succeeded, after innumerable difficulties, in getting back. As I
sank, utterly exhausted, upon the mattress, Tiger threw himself at
full length by my side, and seemed as if desirous, by his caresses,
of consoling me in my troubles, and urging me to bear them with
fortitude.

The singularity of his behavior at length forcibly arrested my

attention. After licking my face and hands for some minutes, he would
suddenly cease doing so, and utter a low whine. Upon reaching out my
hand toward him, I then invariably found him lying on his back, with
his paws uplifted. This conduct, so frequently repeated, appeared
strange, and I could in no manner account for it. As the dog seemed
distressed, I concluded that he had received some injury; and, taking
his paws in my hands, I examined them one by one, but found no sign
of any hurt. I then supposed him hungry, and gave him a large piece
of ham, which he devoured with avidity -- afterward, however,
resuming his extraordinary manoeuvres. I now imagined that he was
suffering, like myself, the torments of thirst, and was about
adopting this conclusion as the true one, when the idea occurred to
me that I had as yet only examined his paws, and that there might
possibly be a wound upon some portion of his body or head. The latter
I felt carefully over, but found nothing. On passing my hand,
however, along his back, I perceived a slight erection of the hair
extending completely across it. Probing this with my finger, I
discovered a string, and tracing it up, found that it encircled the
whole body. Upon a closer scrutiny, I came across a small slip of
what had the feeling of letter paper, through which the string had
been fastened in such a manner as to bring it immediately beneath the
left shoulder of the animal.



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